PPC Reporting – Brand v Non-Brand Terms

It’s still surprising when a new client receives their first monthly PPC report and questions why it has Brand and Non-brand terms reported separately. For any PPC campaign to work to its potential the reporting needs to be split out into these elements. To understand why this needs to be done, we first need to define the difference between the two types of terms.

What are PPC Brand terms?

By PPC Brand terms we mean that the search query includes the name of the business itself. Brand itself can be Brand only (e.g. ‘Dunelm’) or Brand+ (e.g. ‘Dunelm Table Lamp’).

In the case of Brand+ terms, this where the user knows what they are looking for and exactly where they want to look for it. However, it is common for the user to type a Brand term into Google than to try and remember the exact url or navigate through the site’s homepage.

In an ideal world, such Brand terms would be covered off purely by organic search, without any requirement for PPC. However, there are two reasons why this isn’t always the case:

1. The website in question doesn’t own the first position for that that search term

2. There are other businesses bidding on the Brand terms in question

The latter can be a real problem but if the actual name of the business includes a much sought after / highly valuable keyword it can be even worse.

Brand Protection

In both cases this is where a ‘brand protection’ strategy should be employed, protecting potentially lucrative traffic from being lost to a competitor. Such losses can lead to a change in a customer’s purchasing habits, meaning not just one sale is lost, but potentially the customer’s lifetime value!

While a business could save a lot of money by not bidding on their own Brand terms (and reinvesting those savings into Non-brand) it could also result in a significant revenue loss. This is a gamble that many businesses justifiably won’t take. Think – which is more valuable to your business: retaining the business of your existing customers or trying to generate Non-brand traffic that isn’t guaranteed to convert?

What are Non-brand terms?

Quite simply these are the queries that don’t refer to a business name within the search term / phrase. These range from high volume / high competition, generic phrases to long-tail queries with lower volume that sit nearer the buying end of the funnel.

On the whole Non-brand terms work out a lot more expensive than their counterparts, as the competition is much higher, whereas if you own a branded term you should have a distinct advantage when it comes to bidding, as ownership can significantly reduce the cost*.

So, why split Non-brand and Brand terms in reporting?

The argument for separating Brand and Non-brand terms is simple. Brand terms, due to their familiar nature almost always perform MUCH better than Non-brand / generic terms. They are better in terms of:

  • ROI
  • Cost per click
  • Click through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Average Order value

In other words – pretty much across the board.

By including these in with the Non-brand terms, the overall PPC performance view becomes skewed and overstated. This can inadvertently lead to a little complacency and lead to less well optimised search activity which in turn lower the potential to generate traffic and profit.

Summarizing your PPC Reporting Needs

It goes without saying, that your PPC Reporting should include a full campaign overview. From a top-level basis, they should show you the whole amount of what you have spent and what business you have received in return, whether that be engagement, lead gen or revenue. It is ultimately what you commissioned the service for.

That said, any PPC agency worth its salt will take reporting to the next-level, splitting out Brand and Non-brand, so you can pay attention to relative costs and performance, as this is where you can really improve things.

Need an example?

If you would like to benefit from the kind of reporting that allows you to drill down and make valuable improvements, please feel free to get in touch. At the same time you could also take advantage of our free PPC audit service.

*unless the owned Brand name includes a much sought after generic keyword

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